As COVID restrictions are lifting it seems people are left with the question of how now to navigate life when things are “getting back to normal” yet everything has changed. People are wondering how they re-integrate with friends after becoming used to the isolation, some are questioning how to be vulnerable and share about how they’ve been the past year, others fear COVID and the lasting effects. How do we pursue emotional health in this season when many may not know how that looks.
Our emotional health often dictates how we react to life’s stressors. When we do not properly care for our emotional health it at times can escalate to other mental health issues including anxiety and depression. About 40 million adults are affected by anxiety each year and of those, half experience depression. These statistics show us how important taking care of our emotional health actually is.
What is emotional health? People whom experience emotional health are considered to be more content with life, they are able to create meaningful relationships, and remain in control of their actions and emotions. This means giving space to process and experience negative emotions without trying to numb or cover them up.
So, how do we achieve some form of emotional health?
Here are seven activities you can do that can help boost your mood:
- Practice mindfulness: simply this means being aware of the present moment
- Read self help books: words from others can often help us see our experience from a different perspective as well as gain helpful tools.
- Talk about your feelings: it can be terrifying to be vulnerable AND it can be so powerful and healing when we get to connect with another human.
- Journal: having the freedom to write out thoughts without judgment can help one cope as well as gain a better understanding of their feelings.
- Limit your time on social media: I realize this one can be tough, however social media gives us a false sense of connection. It takes away from meaningful connection and personal contact.
- Get adequate sleep: a lack of sleep can cause trouble in focus, irritability, and an inability to process information correctly. Make sure your room is dark and quiet. Try to keep the same bedtime routine and keep screen time to a minimum.
- Build relationships: we as humans are wired for connection. We want to be seen and understand with-out judgment. We want to share experiences with like minded people. Having friendships allow us to share our emotions, instead of bottling them up.
So my friends, go connect with a friend, share how you are doing, prioritize your sleep, share your feelings. You are worthy and deserve to be healthy.
**The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).